House of Commons Hansard #101 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was security.

Topics

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, he talks about his officials, he talks about his own latitude, and he talks about respecting the law being a detail. He says that, in good faith, they failed to comply with the legislation.

The Minister of Health's version does not hold up.

I ask him this: Did he consult the crisis cabinet set up by the Prime Minister for the very purpose of examining crisis situations and their details, as the Minister of Health calls them?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, it is my responsibility to take action in matters concerning the health of Canadians and the protection of their health.

This is my responsibility, and I acted in a responsible manner. Health Canada officials acted in good faith to protect the health of the public, and that is our responsibility.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, decisions of great importance were taken, and the minister says that he consulted neither the cabinet, nor his colleague responsible for the Patent Act. He consulted no one.

How does the minister explain that, in a situation such as this, a decision of such importance was made without the involvement of any political level of the government, except for the minister himself, who lacked judgment?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, if something urgent had come up during the weekend, if the need for drugs had become evident during the weekend, would the hon. member rather that the Minister of Health be in a committee meeting? I think not.

It is important to have access to the needed drugs, and this is why we acted, and we acted appropriately.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am sure that the Prime Minister will be pleased to hear that his Minister of Health considers it a waste of time to consult the Prime Minister's Office or the crisis cabinet, which the Prime Minister established precisely to deal with emergency situations.

Such a lack of judgment deserves a reproof from the Prime Minister, not congratulations in order to save face.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, not one month, not one week has gone by for many years now, without people saying that the Prime Minister decides everything.

Today, in an emergency situation, the Prime Minister delegated the responsibility to deal with this problem, which is important for the health of Canadians, to the Minister of Health, and now, it seems I should have been the one to take the decision, instead of the Minister of Health.

The minister acted within his responsibilities, he acted promptly, and that is why I congratulated him.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance is finally doing his job, and high time it is too.

After the events of September 11, his economic forecasts no longer reflect reality. Bank interest rates are at their lowest, but that is not enough to stop job losses.

Is the minister considering increasing investments in his budget, in order to counteract the recession?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance did not understand that he was complimented by the leader of the NDP, because we have the lowest interest rates in a long time in Canada and that will stimulate the Canadian economy.

It was the nature of the question.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, as usual the Prime Minister ignores the concern about this not being sufficient to deal with job losses.

People do welcome the fact that there is a budget forthcoming but they want a major commitment to environmental infrastructure. The finance minister pretends that he is pro green, yet yesterday the government abandoned its $3 billion public transit promise.

Will the finance minister assure Canadians today that the government stimulus package will target water treatment, public transit and energy efficiency?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, first of all the leader of the NDP ought to know that is exactly what we did in the October statement and that plan is ongoing.

She also ought to know, and I am sure she does, that the Governor of the Bank of Canada would never have been able to proceed with a very large cut in interest rates had the government and the Canadian people not cleaned up their balance sheets. That was the condition precedent.

I must say I apologize for not having understood that the leader of the NDP was complimenting the government. I am glad she has seen the light.

Health
Oral Question Period

October 24th, 2001 / 2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health claims the company Bayer told Health Canada it could not supply the additional Cipro.

Will the minister table any documentation that might prove that Bayer was approached prior to his department going to Apotex in breach of the patent law? Will the minister agree to have any official or officials who might have had conversations with Bayer testify publicly before a committee of parliament? This is a simple question. Will the minister produce the evidence, written or oral?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I have already confirmed those facts.

The member should also be aware that Bayer has apparently entered into negotiations with the United States government in relation to the cost of its Cipro tablets there.

I have written to Bayer and told them that Canada expects the same deal with respect to pricing. If the United States government negotiates a lower price for Cipro I want Canadians to have those savings, just as Canadians will not pay a cent more than they should for any of this medication.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is clear the minister has no proof to provide. If he had he would be straightforward with an answer.

The Apotex deal keeps changing. Monday the company had a clear claim for breach of contract. Yesterday in the dark of the night Apotex gave up its clear right to $1.5 million in compensation. The minister expects us to believe that was just out of the goodness of its heart.

What promises were made regarding this deal or any future considerations? What side deal did the minister make?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the member has been back there in the dark corners too long. He is seeing shadows where they do not exist.

The member probably also recognizes that what this Minister of Health is doing, among other things, is standing by his officials, standing behind them. That is something he would not recognize. We saw what he believes about ministerial responsibility when he was in government. We saw how he cut loose his officials in the Al-Mashat affair.

This minister will not behave that way.

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Health Canada has been singled out by the auditor general in terms of the hundreds of millions of dollars of waste in it and other departments.

We have a Minister of Finance who pared down a deficit by slashing health care payments to provinces. We have no idea if we are spending our way into a deficit.

Will the Minister of Finance simply tell us today, will he abandon his record of going without a budget longer than any other finance minister and simply announce that he will table a budget? Will he announce that today, to table a budget before the end of the year?